Time is running out. Without political leadership willing to take risks and build support for “radical reform,” and without a citizenry willing to insist on those reforms, our schools will continue to decline. And just as it was with Detroit, the global marketplace will be very unforgiving to a populace that doesn’t have the skills it demands… every year we fail to close that gap is like living with the equivalent of a permanent national recession. Shocking as that may sound, the costs in human terms, to our nation and to the kind of people we aspire to become, will be even greater.

Former New York City Chancellor Joel Klein, in the Atlantic Monthly, on the need for school reform.

The idea is simple: if states show that they’re serious about reform, we’ll show them the money.  And it’s already making a difference throughout the country.  In Tennessee, where I met those students, they’ve launched an innovative residency program so that new teachers can be mentored by veteran educators.  In Oregon, Michigan and elsewhere, grants are supporting the work of teachers who are lengthening the school day, offering more specialized classes, and making the changes necessary to improve struggling schools.

President Barack Obama explaining why the competitive grant approach embraced in Race to the Top should be part of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.

If everyone wants more effective teachers, and wanting more effective teachers is synonymous with “attacking schools and teachers,” doesn’t that mean that everyone is a teacher-basher, by definition?

Education Sector’s Kevin Carey rightly questioning the logic of Paul Farhi’s Washington Post screed against school reform.

Also, read Dropout Nation Editor RiShawn Biddle’s profile of Senate education committee honcho Tom Harkin’s struggle to get traction on his agenda, and listen to the Dropout Nation Podcast on addressing the education crisis among our young men.